On May 18th, I rode out with two WilCo professionals with the Mobile Outreach Team (MOT). The MOT responds to calls for people experiencing a mental or behavioral health crisis. Their work not only saves lives, it often prevents someone from going to jail or to the emergency room, both of which can be an enormous cost the county.

The expertise and dedication of these public servants made an impression on me. I was able to see first hand just a snapshot of the challenges they deal with every day. As we began our shift, the laptop screen indicated every MOT unit in the county was on a call, and there were more calls coming in.

One in five of us experiences a mental health condition, and all of us have someone close to us who suffer. Our county is growing every day, and the need for mental health care is growing even faster.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. As your next Williamson County Judge, I will make mental and behavioral health a priority all year long.